It rained again all day…not exactly what was wanted, but at least it’s not snow.
Today was a long day of classes. Grammar, expressions, research for projects we will present, and all in a foreign language. But there are only 16 students in my class, and Monsieur Jean-Sébastien is a fun teacher. He just graduated this year so he easily relates with us.
Sometimes language is more than just knowing the literal meaning of words. There are many times when language cannot be taken literally, especially with idioms. Quebecois expressions are humourous and completely different from English versions. Monique said that today “il vent à décorner les boeufs”, (it is windy enough to take the horns off the cows), and “il pleut à boire debout” (it’s raining enough to drink while standing). Jamie and I said it was raining cats and dogs and Monique looked concerned before we explained that it was expression as well. Languages are funny like that.
After classes, the students chose which groups to join for the final gala. The gala is a cultural representation of Saguenay at the program’s end. Each student needs to add to it somehow. Some are doing art, filmography, music, cooking Quebecois food for the event, etc. The cooking group was full so I chose the dance group. I am interested to know what kind of dances will be involved!
Speaking of food, Monique cooked another great dinner! This time it was tournedos de poulet (which are essentially round chicken fillets wrapped in bacon) with rice and veggies. Even the salad in Saguenay is different! Monique is very curious about how Jamie and I cook food like macaroni at home. It’s humourous that something so simple and normal for us is completely different here in Jonquière. Monique had never heard of mac’n’cheese!
I am also getting used to the other daily traditions which are different in Québec. The “all French love baguettes” stereotype is real! The caféteria serves six inch long chunks of baguette at every meal. Tea at breakfast is popular but coffee is not a big deal. Fast food and soda are practically non-existent. Fruit is everywhere, especially blueberries and apples. I heard that Saguenay is a major producer of blueberries, and the slang word for the locals of Saguenay is “un bleuet” (a blueberry).
After dinner, it was back to the college again. Each class is responsible for creating a game for the local children’s fair we are hosting. The fair is for the entire community, to try and involve the foreign students with the locals. My class decided on a space-themed obstacle course. The fair will be next weekend, and I am looking forward to it.